Embraer is gearing up to deliver its first Legacy 450 business jet, with the super-light aircraft to be handed over to its US launch customer in the coming weeks.

US Federal Aviation Administration validation for the seven-seat twin was secured on 31 August, three weeks after Brazilian type certification was awarded.

The airframer is now working towards European approval for the Legacy 450 – the fourth clean-sheet aircraft in Embraer Executive Jets' 10-year history – which it hopes to receive by the end of the year.

In preparation for this validation, Embraer is stepping up its sales and marketing effort across the region. Business aviation services provider Atlas Air Service has been appointed as authorised sales representative for company’s entire business jet family, which which runs from the entry-level Phenom 100 to the Lineage 1000E VIP airliner, and will help promote the line-up in three of Europe’s biggest markets: Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“Europe is home to 17% of our 900-strong global fleet and our third-largest market, just behind North America and Latin America,” says Embraer. “Europe is the most important market for the Legacy 600/650, being home to more than a third of the worldwide inventory,” it adds.

Separately, Embraer says it is seeing softer private jet demand in the southeast Asia region, on the back of the slump in commodity prices.

“Resources aren’t booming anymore, anywhere,” Embraer Executive Jets sales director Manfred Baudzus told Flightglobal during an August marketing tour to promote the Legacy 500 in Asia. So far, just one example of the midsize business jet – a larger and longer-range version of the Legacy 450 – has been delivered in the Asia Pacific region, to a customer in Australia.

“Generally, around Asia private jet demand has plateaued for the moment,” Baudzus said. “You’ll find that everywhere. It’s certainly harder to find the clients in Asia than it was some years ago, and you’ve got to work a lot harder today.”

The one bright spot that Baudzus sees is the Philippines, where the number of high net worth individuals has been growing. Still, he notes that opportunities in the nation are mainly confined to the smaller aircraft in Embraer’s range, particularly the Phenom 100 and 300.

Source: Flight International